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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Rutgers, Temple joining Sandy relief efforts

By Matt Fortuna

This weekend Rutgers and Temple are contributing to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The Scarlet Knights, who play Army, will host the Red Cross, which will have stations collecting items throughout High Point Solutions Stadium. They will also be selling $15 T-shirts with the New Jersey outline and the word "stRong" on them, with all proceeds going to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The Rutgers and Livingston Alumni Associations are co-hosting a coat drive at the game as well.

Similarly, the Owls, who are hosting Cincinnati, will be collecting gently used clothing, blankets, diapers and toiletries Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, with items being donated to the American Red Cross.

Coming off a bye week, Rutgers canceled last Tuesday's practice and gave players Friday and Saturday off to head home and be part of their neighborhoods' relief efforts. Coach Kyle Flood said that Rutgers players and coaches were fortunate to avoid most of the devastation, with little more than power outages and downed trees affecting those within the program.

"I thought from a program standpoint the players and the coaches handled it about as well as we could," Flood said. "I said this to the team last week: We were distracted as a program, but distracted for all the right reasons. There were a lot of things going on in our local areas here in New Jersey and New York that were much more important than a football practice."

Flood, whose team is also coming off its first loss of the season, is not concerned about preparation heading into Saturday's tilt with the Black Knights.

"I think we got out of the bye week what we needed to get out of it," Flood said. "I think you have plans and then you have things that happen in life that are more important than your plans. I think that's what happened last week. So I don't have any concerns about anything that we may have missed last week.

"When we came back [Sunday], our players were in a very good place and our staff was very prepared for the game week, and we were able to get a little bit of a jump on this game plan that we normally wouldn't have had we played on Saturday."